What an amazing experience! Recently spent a day at the Foire de Saint Ours, in Aosta, Italy. For over one thousand years artisans have gathered at the end of January in the beautiful Roman city of Aosta to celebrate their craft in wood and stone. I was dragged along by a friend who said he wanted to check out the Fair - I interpreted this as a few stalls and a quick Italian coffee then home again. In fact I was bemused that my friend, an avid ski mountaineer, should want to visit town on a blue sky powder day !
Our base in the Alps, Chamonix, makes one of the world's greatest Christmas destinations. What with the snowy activities, festive lights and warming vin chaud it's hard to go wrong and impossible not to get in the spirit to celebrate.
What a fantastic start to the season in the Alps - waist deep powder in the mountains and searing blue skies to dazzle even the most jaded eyes! It must be the best early season snow in ChamonixFrance for at least ten years, or certainly that seems to be what my memory is saying.
The British Mountaineering Council's DVD ‘Rock Climbing Essentials’ is the sixth in a series and covers all the skills for rock climbing in the UK. There are also two three snowy BMC DVDs, two of which, Alpine Essentials and Off Piste Essentials were filmed in the Alps and feature our very own Lindsay Cannon as the narrator.
Swimming with snowshoes? Traverse of the Chablais, France
“Right!” said Fred. “Six days across the Chablais mountains in winter carrying all our kit and a dip in Lake Geneva at the end?” He’s not one to be overly demanding is Fred, as long as I can come up with a decent snowshoe hike of more than 725 m ascent, and around 10.5 km in length, plus a good hotel at the end of the day with a huge hot-tub with views to the mountains, excellent local food, a masseuse on tap, and a very good red wine then he’s pretty much happy!
What to Wear Snowshoeing?
Believe me, what to wear on the mountain causes a lot of consternation. More than a few glasses of wine/beer have been consumed debating this all important question as our guests contemplate their ‘mountain fashion statement’ for the next day. In Chamonix, France we joke about the ‘mountain fashion police’ removing you forcibly from the mountain for not sporting the correct attire.
It's great to get the chance to explore new areas and after weeks of pouring over maps and guidebooks we have put together two new trips. One is going to be based in the village of Nevache, near Briancon and it looks fabulous. Nevache actually means 'snowy land' and it seems it's already living up to it's reputation with lots of snow in valley already this winter.
Great news for Scott as this months Trail Running magazine have given their trail shoe the eRide grip the thumbs up. Scott were up against well known brands such as Salomon, inov8 and Asics with their winter trail shoe. 20 different shoes were on test and the eRide won the review over all. The December '12 article confirmed our thoughts of the shoes being 'comfy to wear straight from the box' and ideal for a variety of terrain from road to rock and over long distances. With fresh snow fall today (and more on the way) in the Alps I am looking forward to putting the Scott 'Ice Runners' to test. A shiny parcel is winging it's way to me as I type! So the snow won't stop me from running this winter.
Just back from a three week trip into Sikkim in the Indian Himalayas where I was guiding for our friends at KE Adventure Travel. A trek that finished in the shadow of Kangchenjunga the third highest mountain in the world after Everest and K2. A truly remote and wonderful experience in an unspoilt area.
An amusing and refreshing article reviewing the delights of skate skiing from Fall-Line Skiing and Snowboarding magazine. Travel journalist, Eric Kendal, took to skinny skis in the Swiss Obergoms(the location for one of our beginner ski weeks) for a lesson in 'skating'. Let it amuse, inspire and enlighten your thoughts on cross country skiing! www.fall-line.co.uk